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KIRO Radio's Tom Kelly digs deep into the Puget Sound real estate market

Real Estate

More 'weekend warriors' turn to remodeling contractors

About 74 percent of the homeowners say they plan to hire a general contractor for all or some of the remodeling work.

More Americans are opting to renovate their homes and are hiring contractors instead of doing the project themselves, Bloomberg News reported.

It's a "strong year" for home improvement spending, says Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics LLC in Boulder, Colorado. He said that seasonally-adjusted annualized expenditures have risen from about $105 billion in November 2012 to about $136 billion in June.

More homeowners say they plan to renovate their homes this year. Forty-three percent of home owners surveyed last month said they plan to renovate this year, up from 41 percent in February, according to a survey by RemodelOrMove.com. For the past five-years, the percentage had been averaging 33 percent in the survey.

What's more, 74 percent of the homeowners say they plan to hire a general contractor for all or some of the remodeling work.

A continued improvement in home prices "will add valuable equity to homeowners for future remodeling projects," James Metcalf, chief executive officer of USG Corp., said on a recent conference call.

Some homeowners have refinanced their mortgages, taking advantage of lower interest rates the past year. As such, "some people are feeling richer and better about the economy" and are more willing to take on large-scale projects that they may have put off during the recession, said Russell Price, senior economist at Ameriprise Financial Inc.

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